SYMPHONY X bassist Mike LePond was asked in a new interview with Metal Nation if there are any plans for him and his bandmates to begin writing material for the follow-up to their 2015 album "Under...
Mike LePond: "Well, what we decided is as soon as the virus thing kind of slows down a little bit, we're gonna get together and write a new record. We've told Nuclear Blast that we're ready to start writing, so they know. So the wheels are gonna start, I would say, within about a month or so."
I miss progressive Symphony X. I just read an interview with bassist Michael Lepond where he has always been unhappy with being labeled a progressive band because he said it has hurt their popularity. He thinks people compare them to Dream Theater too often, which I agree with, but that comparison has turned people off and that “from Paradise Lost on, we’ve been a heavy metal band.”
The older albums had some progressive masterpieces. Divine Wings, The Odyssey, Through the Looking Glass, Rediscovery, the Accolades, Awakenings...
It’s not that I dislike the band’s last three albums; I still think they’re better than 99% of metal out there. The shorter, heavier songs on these albums are generally stronger compositions than similar songs from previous albums (save for the lyrics), but the “progressive” tracks just aren’t as strong. Paradise Lost, Swan Song, etc. are solid tracks, but they don’t have the depth of songwriting and neoclassicalism that Communion and the Oracle, Candlelight Fantasia, etc. do. The early progressive gems were complex without being confusing, which has always been Dream Theater’s problem. The songs have polymeters left and right, but there’s always a constant groove thanks to Jason Rullo’s drumming and Mike Romeo’s compositional skills. The keyboards also played a much larger role. Modern Symphony X has been trying to pull in the younger generic metal fan base since Paradise Lost - and they’re a great metal band - but the spark is gone.
To read Lepond’s anti-progressive words was quite a disappointment. I guess this is why most of the guys dislike V; it’s too “progressive” with lyrics about “ancient gods and shit” instead of edgy words about generic struggles written at a third-grade level. Albums like Divine Wings and The Odyssey have something for all metal fans, and sadly I don’t think we’ll ever get something like that from these guys again.
That said, I do think that Underworld was a step in the right direction after the bloated and contrived Iconoclast.